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Savannah, Georgia is one of the jewels of the South, a place where the southern charm that people so often associate with the South still exists. The town was founded in 1733 and is the oldest city in Georgia. It has played a key role in major events in United States history, including the Civil War. Thankfully, the city brokered a peace with General William Sherman to save the city’s lovely Antebellum buildings. Today, the coastal town is a great place to getaway for the weekend and explore beautiful architecture, delightful cuisine, and a laid-back atmosphere.

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Savannah’s historic district is the star of the city. The town is laid out in a grid pattern but with 22 squares interspersed among the district. Each of the squares is distinctive, some with manicured plants and flowers, others with fountains or statues, still others with some other combination of elements. Surrounding the squares are well-preserved Antebellum homes, each one different than the last. Perhaps the most interesting thing you can do while in Savannah, and something we would recommend, is to wander up and down the streets of the historic district, looking at the different homes and squares. There are some places that are worth putting on your list of must see sites, however, such as the enormous fountain in Forsyth Park or the house of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts (you can go on a house tour of Low’s house, if you wish).

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After getting your fill of historic homes, go to the waterfront. Visitors must descend stairs to get to the water level. Once there, they can stand next to the Savannah River, a peaceful setting, especially as the sun goes down. Then, they can turn around and see a lovely row of old storefronts that used to form the nucleus of the Savannah port. Today, the storefronts house restaurants and curio shops. Perhaps the most famous store, and one worth going into, is the Savannah Candy Kitchen, full of colorful and tasty treats. Behind the stores are storage areas that are among the oldest structures in the city-it’s worth taking the few minutes to see this area.

The descriptions above relate activities in the historic district, but there are other areas in and near Savannah that are also fun to explore. We stopped by Coastal Empire Brewing Company, one of the several microbreweries in Savannah. The brewery itself was plain, but pleasant, but the real star of our visit, as it should be, was the beer. We got to taste several of Coastal Empire’s regular offerings, as well as some specialty beers. All of the beers we tried were good, and it was a great way to relax in the afternoon after a day of exploring. In addition to several breweries, there are numerous restaurants to go to. After walking around the historic district, we needed a boost of energy, so we went to The Coffee Fox, a local coffee shop. Our latte was well-made, and we enjoyed hanging out in the old brick shop.

If you’re in Savannah, there are some other sites that you should visit. Wormsloe Historic Site preserves an old tabby home and the longest live oak lined drive in the world. Skidaway Island State Park is a bit more natural, so it’s perfect for those wanting to get out of the city and into nature. Fort McAllister State Park contains a Civil War era fort. Tybee Island is nearby and has beaches, another Civil War fort, and the Tybee Island Lighthouse. Finally, visitors can pair a visit to Savannah with more explorations of Georgia’s barrier islands, such as Jekyll Island, St. Simon’s Island, Sapelo Island, or Cumberland Island.

Of the southern cities that we have visited, Savannah is one of our favorites. We had a lovely time strolling the historic district and getting to take in the beautiful scenery and architecture the town has to offer. Savannah is a place to which we would be happy to return, so we highly recommend visiting yourself.